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Last Updated : Jul 06, 2020 02:19 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Government mulls lowering price cap for COVID-19 test at private facilities

According to the ICMR, a total of 1,00,04,101 samples have been tested till 11 am on July 6

Representative Image
Representative Image

Amid the increasing novel coronavirus infections, the central government is considering cutting the price cap further for COVID-19 testing at private hospitals and diagnostic centres to make it affordable for people, says a report by Mint.

In the initial phase of surging COVID-19 cases in March, the government first appealed to private laboratories to conduct the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for free but subsequently capped the price at Rs 4,500.

However, in May the Indian Council of Medical Research had removed the price cap, asking states and union territories to negotiate with private labs to fix "mutually agreeable" rates for the test.

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In June, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, said the private facilities should further lower the costs as testing kits and reagents were being sourced locally and not imported like earlier, the report said.

Several states have set a price cap on COVID-19 tests like Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Haryana have capped the testing price at various rates. Therefore, the ICMR is considering a mandatory cap on prices across India, said the report.

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ICMR Director-General (D-G) Dr Balram Bhargava said they were “contemplating a price cap for testing, considering that no individual should be deprived. Only through increased testing will we be in a better position to defeat this virus.”

India has so far registered close to seven lakh COVID-19 cases. Of these, 4,24,432 patients have recovered, 19,693 died and one has migrated.

According to the ICMR, a total of 1,00,04,101 samples have been tested till 11 am on July 6, with 1,80,596 just on July 5.

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.
First Published on Jul 6, 2020 02:18 pm
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